Jeremiah 43

CHAPTER XLIII

The leading men, discrediting Jeremiah's prophecy, carry the

people into Egypt, 1-7.

Jeremiah, by a type, foretells the conquest of Egypt by

Nebuchadnezzar, 8-13.

This mode of conveying instruction by actions was very

expressive, and frequently practised by the prophets. The image

of Nebuchadnezzar arraying himself with Egypt, as a shepherd

puts on his garment, is very noble. Egypt at this time

contended with Babylon for the empire of the east; yet this

mighty kingdom, when God appoints the revolution, shifts its

owner with as much ease as a shepherd removes his tent or

garment, which the new proprietor has only to spread over him.

See Jer 43:12.

NOTES ON CHAP. XLIII

Verse 2. Thou speakest falsely] They had no other colour for

their rebellion than flatly to deny that God had spoken what the

prophet related.

Verse 6. Men, and women, and children, and the king's daughters]

See the note on Jer 41:10. It is truly surprising that the

Chaldeans should have left behind any of the royal family of

Judah! But, 1. Perhaps they knew not there were any. 2. If they

did know, they might think, being children of concubines, they

could not inherit. Or, 3. That being females, they were not

eligible. And they had taken care to seize all Zedekiah's sons,

and slay them before his eyes.

Verse 7. Came they even to Tahpanhes] This city was called

Daphne by the Greeks, and was situated at the extremity of Lower

Egypt, near to Heliopolis. It was called Daphne Pelusiaca. They

halted at this place, most probably for the purpose of obtaining

the king's permission to penetrate farther into Egypt. It was at

this place that, according to St. Jerome, tradition says the

faithful Jeremiah was stoned to death by these rebellious

wretches; for whose welfare he had watched, prayed, gone through

many indignities, and suffered every kind of hardship. And now he

sealed the truth of his Divine mission with his blood.

Verse 9. Take great stones] This discourse seems to have been

delivered about a year after the destruction of Jerusalem. They

pretended that they dared not stay in Judea for fear of the

Chaldeans. The prophet here assures them that Nebuchadnezzar

shall come to Egypt, extend his conquests in that kingdom, and

place his tent over the very place where these stones were laid

up, and destroy them. How these prophecies were fulfilled, see at

the end of Jer 44:30.

Verse 11. Such as are for death to death]

See Clarke on Jer 15:2.

Verse 12. He shall burn them, and carry them away captives] Some

of these gods, such as were of wood, he will burn; those of metal

he will carry away. Some of them were of gold. See below.

Shall array himself with the land of Egypt] Shall take all its

wealth, and all its grandeur; shall take all its spoils.

As a shepherd putteth on his garment] With as much ease, and

with as little opposition; and with as full a confidence that it

is now his own.

He shall go forth from thence in peace.] He shall suffer no

interruption, nor endure any disaster in his return from his

Egyptian expedition.

See the proof of all this in Clarke's notes at the end of "Jer 44:30".

Verse 13. He shall break also the images of Beth-shemesh]

beith shemesh is, literally, the house or temple of the

sun; which was worshipped here, and whose images are said to have

been of solid gold. These Nebuchadnezzar was to break and carry

away; and the houses of the gods-all the temples of Egypt, he was

to burn with fire. Beth-shemesh is the same as Heliopolis.

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